IKEA refugee shelter named Design of the Year


IKEA’s temporary shelter designed for refugees has been named the 2016 Beazley Design of the Year.

The Better Shelter was announced as the winner at an awards ceremony that took place at the Design Museum’s new home in London.

The annual programme celebrates design that “promotes or delivers change, enables access, extends design practice or captures the spirit of the year”.

Selected as the winner of the architecture category, IKEA’s corporate and social responsibility project beat five other category winners to claim the overall prize for its “outstanding contribution towards the global issue of population displacement”.

The IKEA Foundation launched its flat-pack emergency shelter back in 2013 to offer an alternative to the tents often used to house refugees and displaced people, of which there are now more than 65 million worldwide.

Designed to last three years, it made of lightweight polymer panels laminated with thermal insulation, each of which clip onto a steel frame.

“Better Shelter tackles one of the defining issues of the moment: providing shelter in an exceptional situation whether caused by violence and disaster,” said jury member Jana Scholze of Kingston University.

“It shows the power of design to respond to the conditions we are in and transform them. Innovative, humanitarian and implemented, Better Shelter has everything that a Beazley Design of the Year should have.”

The Open Surgery robotic surgeon, which could allow users to carry out procedures at home, took the prize for the digital category

Jonathan Barnbrook’s cover for David Bowie’s Blackstar album, released just days before his death, was named winner of the graphics category